Alliance of Community Leaders & Organisations Launch ‘Vote NO’ Campaign

first_imgSayNopeToDope NZ Media Release 8 June 2020An alliance of community organisations and leaders (including ex-addicts, educators, ex-police, addiction counsellors, health professionals and community workers) have joined together to form Smart Approaches To Marijuana NZ (SAM-NZ), and will work together to oppose any attempt to legalise cannabis in New Zealand in the upcoming referendum.“We’re pleased to have such a wide-ranging group of organisations and experts from all areas of society to come together to argue against legalising the recreational use of cannabis, based on reputable science and sound principles of public health and safety,” says spokesperson Aaron Ironside.“The use of cannabis is associated with increased risks of a number of adverse outcomes including educational delay, welfare dependence, increased risks of psychotic symptoms, major depression, increased risks of motor vehicle accidents, increased risks of tobacco use, increased risks of other illicit drug use, and respiratory impairment.”“At a time when New Zealand’s mental health system is bursting at the seams, why would we go and legitimise a mind-altering product which will simply add to social harm?”The New Zealand coalition has aligned itself with the prominent US group SAM which is led by Dr Kevin Sabet, a former advisor to three U.S. presidential administrations (Clinton, Bush and Obama Administrations) – the only drug policy staffer to have ever served as a political appointee in a Democrat and Republican administration.“Our NZ coalition is stoked to be aligned with such a credible organization as SAM. SAM’s Staff and Science Advisory Board is composed of world-recognised experts in research, addiction, and treatment who work tirelessly to advance public health and safety, and stand up to a powerful marijuana industry.”SAM-NZ(Smart Approaches To Marijuana NZ) REFERENDUM ON THE LEGALISATION OF RECREATIONAL CANNABIS Evidence shows that marijuana – which has skyrocketed in average potency over the past decades – is addictive and harmful to the human brain, especially when used by adolescents. In US states that have already legalised the drug, there has been an increase in drugged driving crashes, youth marijuana use, and costs that far outweigh tax revenues from marijuana. These states have seen a black market that continues to thrive, sustained marijuana arrest rates, and tobacco company investment in marijuana. It plays a significant role in domestic violence, crime, accidents, mental disorders and lost productivity.The referendum proposed by the Government on the legalisation of cannabis will therefore be a watershed moment for the health and well-being of all New Zealanders.Legalising the drug would in effect legitimise and increase its use in New Zealand. Regulations and the educative approach have failed to prevent the abuse of alcohol in this country with all of us having to suffer its adverse consequences in road accidents, violence and anti-social behaviour.When education and regulation fail, the legal status of the drug is the only bottom line to prevent its wholesale adoption with all of the negative consequences for us as a nation.Smart Approaches To Marijuana NZ (SAM-NZ) is an alliance of community organisations and leaders (including ex-addicts, educators, ex-police, addiction counsellors, health professionals and community workers), and opposes any attempt to legalise cannabis, based on reputable science and sound principles of public health and safety.We argue that drug use is both a criminal and a health issue. A smart arrest policy can both provide a societal stamp of disapproval and provide an opportunity to intervene and stop the progression of use. Keeping marijuana illegal through an appropriate application of the laws that cater for ‘youthful indiscretions’ and which focus predominantly on supply and dealers is as much a public safety policy as it is a public health policy. But if those with addictions commit serious offences, as does happen, the criminal law cannot simply turn a blind eye. The community still needs to be protected.We fully support the increased provision and funding of drug counselling services, drug treatment centres and drug education programmes in schools. These should remain our preferred ‘smart’ approach to cannabis use.This is not a ‘war on drugs’ – this is a defence of our brains and health. People should always come before profits.Retaining it as a criminal offence sends a clear and unequivocal message that New Zealanders regard drug use as a dangerous and unacceptable form of recreation.We urge New Zealanders to be fully informed on this debate, to think deeply on the implications, and to vote NO to legalising cannabis in the referendum.Aaron Ironside                         Spokesperson: SAM-NZPat Buckley                               Amped4Life TrustImraan Ali                            New Zealand Muslim AssociationPat Walsh                                  Secondary School Principal, former head of a Principal’s Ass’nRev Pane Kawhia                    Anglican Minister, RuatoriaChristine Rankin                     Transforming Justice FoundationDr Ate  Moala                          PACYFIC TrustVic Tamati                               Community WorkerMo McLeary                            Drug Free AmbassadorsDr Andreas Leinfellner         Paediatrician.Kirk Hardy                               The Drug Detection AgencyAlli Axford                               Drug Free WorldMazin  Al-Salim                      Working Together Group (WTG)Sully Pa’ea                               Community Worker – South AucklandMaureen MacDonald             Drug-ARM WellingtonWayne Mulqueen                   Focus on the Family NZJess McVicar                           Sensible Sentencing TrustDave Pizzini                             Ex-Police (Detective Senior Sergeant)Bob McCoskrie                        Family First NZDarryl Wesley                         Health ProfessionalStuart Caldwell                       Get Smart (Tauranga)Brendon Warne                      Anti-P MinistriesAlan Vink                                 LeadershipWorxDale Kirk                                  MethconStuart Lange                            NZ Christian NetworkNick Tuitasi QSM                   Pacific WaveJohn Subritzky                        Promise KeepersRob Nordstrom                       Rubicon Alcohol & Other DrugGaylene Fraser                        Drug Free WorldKarrin  Coates                         Sensible Sentencing Group TrustGreer Keane                            Te Ata Rangi RangatahiGlenn   Dobson                       International Board Member – National Drug and AlcoholScreening Association (NDASA)Gayann Phillips                      NZ Christian NetworkChristina Stroud                     World Federation Against DrugsIsmail  Waja                            Working Together Group (WTG)Bruce Couper                          Ex-PolicePhil Paikea                               Community WorkerTrevor Turner                         Drug Free WorldRonji Tanielu                          Community WorkerAllan Va’a                                Community Worker – South AucklandBev Adair-Beets                     Youth AdvocatePiripi Rakete                           Drug Free WorldDr Kevin Sabet                       SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana)Luke Niforatos                       SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana)last_img read more

Despite extreme scrutiny, A-Rod still among league best

first_imgPlay ball. Although the weather the first few weeks of the season has been topsy-turvy, thwarting the possibility of having any sort of reliable playing conditions, one player hasn’t seemed to mind. Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez has exploded out of the gates, blasting seven homers and driving in 18 to go with an 11-game hitting streak and a .372 batting average. In the first seven games, A-Rod homered six times, to become the first Yankee to accomplish that feat. He certainly has rediscovered his stroke, the one that earned him American League MVP honors in 2005 when he blasted 48 long balls and drove in 130. But it’s old news. We’ve all come to expect numbers of this caliber from this larger-than-life Hall of Famer-to-be. So why is it that the media are still gushing over him? Well, it’s New York, for starters. Plus, in terms of what’s expected of A-Rod and his $27.7 million salary, he sucked last year. And boy was he ridiculed for it. Boobirds could be heard floating around Yankee Stadium at the sound of his name as often as cheers, depending, of course, on what he had done in his previous at-bat or fielding opportunity. All season long, Rodriguez was hounded for everything from his eerily high error tally (24) to his offensive game — 35 HR, 121 RBI, .290 AVG — to his work ethic. One time, he was caught sun tanning the afternoon of a game during which he committed two errors. The Tabloids stuck it to him, bashing his good physique and work ethic. Yankees teammates, however, will be the first to tell you that Rodriguez works harder and logs more hours than anyone else. And now that he’s back on track and swinging a big bat, the media’s unabashedly drooling over him in agreement.One minute he’s the scapegoat for all of the Yankees postseason disappointments, the next he’s their only hope. Love him or hate him. But it shouldn’t work that way. Albert Pujols, the only other name in baseball with more prowess than Rodriguez, had the worst average among National League regulars entering his two-homer, five-RBI day Sunday. Even after the game, his average still sits under the Mendoza line at a skimpy .186. Yet no media tycoon has suggested the one-time NL MVP’s confidence is shot, or that he’s losing focus. I know it’s difficult to compare St. Louis to New York or last year’s error-prone Rodriguez to the Gold Glove of Pujols, but seriously, why don’t the media stop jumping on the A-Rod bandwagon when he’s stellar and jump off when he’s, well, still better than most? Yes, he does play in front of some of the harshest critics; people who have gotten so used to winning that now that is hasn’t happened in nearly seven years someone’s got to take the fall. And yes, he is the richest man in baseball; he’s is expected to perform to those standards. If A-Rod was dreadful last season, then what was teammate Jason Giambi? Horrific? OK, so he hit one more homer and had a higher on-base percentage (.413 to .392) and slugging percentage (.553 to .523) than Rodriguez. His average, however, was 37 points lower, he had fewer RBI (121 to 113) and he gets hurt. The latter isn’t what you want in a $20 million man. Plus, Giambi’s so bad at defense that he’s been relegated to full-time DH this season. Since they both made relatively the same amount of money in 2006, they both, you could say, were equally disappointing. But Giambi didn’t get booed. He wasn’t under the knife every time he didn’t perform. That onus fell on A-Rod and on A-Rod alone. I’m not here to say that Giambi ought to have been criticized more often or that Pujols is having a bad season, because those things aren’t important. Understanding that A-Rod — his career numbers, talent, slumps, errors, sun tans and everything else that goes into his being — is great is important. Outside of Pujols and a select few, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen someone quite like A-Rod. I don’t know if I ever will. Kevin is a junior double majoring in economics and journalism. Share your thoughts on A-Rod by contacting him at [email protected]last_img read more

Ceres, Global chase football history

first_imgOSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson View comments S’woods pads lead to 9 Brian Heruela arrival bolsters Phoenix backcourt, defense LATEST STORIES Redemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Scottie Thompson also worthy of Finals MVP, thinks Cone Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew “Throughout the season, our team has suffered injuries, but the team has delivered good results,” said Steuble.Ceres and Global split their four meetings this season.The match coincides with the Philippine Football Federation Congress in the city, where PFF president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta will present his plans and projects for 2018.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson BACOLOD CITY—It doesn’t get any bigger than this for Philippine club football.Two clubs that have won every major trophy in the country the past three years—Ceres Negros and Global Cebu—seek to make history on Saturday when they dispute the first Philippines Football League title at 6 p.m. at Panaad Stadium here.ADVERTISEMENT Meralco ‘never the same’ after Almazan injury in PBA Finals Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The Busmen are looking to end an incredible year with another trophy after winning the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asean zonal championship last September.But with a squad decimated by injuries and suspensions, coach Risto Vidakovic’s side face a difficult task of overcoming a Global side that stunned top seed Meralco Manila in the semifinals last weekend.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk“We don’t have the pressure, rather we have the pleasure of playing here in Bacolod,” said Ceres defender Martin Steuble. “We’re confident. It’s one game and for 90 minutes, we just have to do our best.”Ceres’ strength lies in its depth as the Busmen have survived a gruelling season and a tough AFC Cup campaign to put themselves in a position to win their first domestic trophy since ruling the United Football League in 2015.last_img read more